Tyrese Maxey is entering his fourth season in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite a decrease in minutes last year from 35.3 to 33.6, Maxey’s stats have increased incrementally each season since entering the league. Last year, the Sixers guard averaged 20.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 rebounds on 48/43/85 shooting splits.
Top 25 NBA Players Under 25: No. 15 – Tyrese Maxey
He’s developed tremendously since entering the league, being selected No. 21 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. Kentucky is exceptionally well known for developing NBA guards, and Maxey is no exception. At 22 years old, he should only continue to improve with the Sixers. In fact, he could end up being the secondary go-to player behind MVP Joel Embiid, especially given James Harden’s trade request.
Areas Maxey Can Improve
One area that will limit Maxey’s future ranking in this list is his size. He’s an undersized guard at six-foot-two. As a result, Maxey’s game will never be dominant in the paint and on switches, unlike guards such as Luka Doncic and even his current teammate Harden. In the modern NBA, Maxey’s undersized frame could also be a liability at times on defense. He’s great out on the perimeter defensively with his quick hands and agility. However, if Maxey is in a mismatch situation on a switch due to a pick-and-roll, he can’t hold his own in the paint.
An aspect that Maxey will be able to control more that he needs to improve on is his playmaking. As a guard, Maxey must average more than 3.5 assists per game if he wants to take that next leap toward being a borderline All-Star.
Potential Increased Role
Given his undersized frame and that Harden may no longer be on the Sixers, Maxey could very well be the lead playmaker entering the 2023-24 season. With his ballhandling, athleticism, and shooting, Maxey has all the traits to become a lead guard. He’s already an elite floor spacer for Embiid, shooting 43% from three last season.
Maxey is the No. 15 ranked player under age 25 despite his limited size and playmaking as a guard. Despite those concerns, there’s much to love about Maxey as an overall player. He is a highly efficient scoring guard. Maxey could have a few seasons close to the 50/40/90 club throughout his career.
If the Sixers want to maximize their championship window with Embiid, then Maxey must play a significant role. An essential factor will be whether he can take that next step. He needs to become the lead playmaking point guard. He’s more of a combo guard, but Maxey might have to transition to lead guard, given his age and skill set, especially because of Harden’s uncertain future in Philadelphia.
Maxey will have multiple All-Star appearances if he can excel in that role. The Sixers have a foundational guard in Maxey and found a gem at pick No. 21.